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Oxfam: Boycott on Palestinians Leading to “Devastating” Crisis

Australian PM Calls for Ban on HIV-Positive Immigrants, Refugees
In Australia, Prime Minister John Howard is stirring controversy today after calling for a ban on HIV-positive immigrants or refugees from entering the country. Howard said HIV should be compared with tuberculosis even though tuberculosis is airborne and contagious while HIV is only transmissible.

Lawyer: RNC Lost 4 Years of Rove E-mails
Back in the United States, new details are emerging in the growing controversy over the White House’s claim to have lost dozens of e-mails sought in the Congressional investigation into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. The Washington Post is reporting a Republican National Committee lawyer now says the RNC is missing at least four years’ worth of e-mails from senior presidential adviser Karl Rove. Democrats have accused Rove and other aides of improperly using their private RNC e-mail accounts to avoid leaving a paper trail in the attorney firings. On Thursday, Senate Judiciary chair Patrick Leahy blasted the White House claim to have lost the e-mails.

    Patrick Leahy: “They say they have not been preserved. I don’t believe that! Those e-mails are there; they just don’t want to produce them. We’ll subpoena them if necessary. You can’t erase e-mails, not today. They’ve gone through too many servers. That’s like saying the dog ate my homework.”

World Bank Staffers Call on Wolfowitz to Resign
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is embroiled in a scandal

that could see him lose his job. Wolfowitz was found to have ordered a major pay increase and promotion for his longtime companion, Shaha Riza. The World Bank’s staff association is calling on Wolfowitz to resign. On Thursday, Wolfowitz tried to address staff members but was met with chants and boos calling for his departure. Wolfowitz also appeared at an unusual news conference to plead his case.
    World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz: "I made a mistake for which I am sorry. But let me also ask for some understanding. Not only was this a painful personal dilemma, but I had to deal with it when I was new to this institution and I was trying to navigate in unchartered waters."

    Zimbabwe Opposition Leader: 600 Activists Detained, Tortured
    In Zimbabwe, main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has announced plans to negotiate with President Robert Mugabe’s government. Tsvangirai says some six hundred opposition activists have been abducted and tortured this year.

      Morgan Tsvangirai: "For over a period of a month, the Mugabe regime has sustained a vicious war against the MDC and its supporters. The targeted attacks on, and the attempted assassinations of the MDC leadership on March 11 2007 marked the beginning of a systematic programme designed to cripple and ultimately destroy all other democratic formations."
       
      Oxfam: Boycott on Palestinians Leading to “Devastating” Crisis
      In the Occupied Territories, the aid group Oxfam is warning the international boycott of the Palestinian government is leading to a “devastating” humanitarian crisis. Donors including the U.S., European Union and Canada stopped funding one year ago after Palestinians elected Hamas to lead parliament. Poverty has increased thirty percent. The number living on less than fifty-cents a day has doubled to over one million. Nearly half of Palestinians in the territories do not have enough food to meet their needs. Oxfam’s international director Jeremy Hobbs said: “International aid should be provided impartially on the basis of need, not as a political tool to change the policies of a government.”
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